Summary Title: The Ultimate Penultimate
Author’s name: Lindsay Rutter
Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Summary: Our penultimate sol on Mars was quiet. Jin
needed to obtain COVID planetary protection certifications for his
return flight to Planet Earth. The nearest certification center was
more than two hours away, at the Hanskville Spaceport. Dave and Jin
departed the HAB around 0930, with Dave bringing science gloves to
prevent touching the same space fuel nozzles at recharging fuel
stations along the route. Inga and I remained at the HAB. Our radio
communication with Dave and Jin only lasted for about ten minutes.
They gave an estimated return time of 1630. Indeed, they were gone
most of the day.
I continued my metagenomic regolith experiments in the ScienceDome and
Inga prepared for her upcoming presentation at the Mars Society
Conference. She will present machine learning findings about social
dynamics in space analogs. When I returned from the ScienceDome to the
HAB to share lunch with Inga, she commented on how oddly quiet the HAB
had felt when she was in it all alone for the first time!
After Dave and Jin safely returned to the HAB, we made minor
adjustments in our schedule for how to spend our final sol on Mars. I
feel a bit of the "third-quarter effect" wafting throughout the HAB.
But it is not as prominent as usual. We have several big events
tomorrow that keep us anchored to our mission. Tomorrow, we will
participate in the first Mars-to-Mars (M2M) Video Link. We will
virtually celebrate Space Week together with the AARG-1 crew, who are
located at the other station on Mars, UND ILMAH. We Areonauts have
been kind and supportive to each other, with engaging conversations
each day. Still, we are eager for this event, because it will break
our routine and expand our fishbowl population from four to eight –
even if just for one hour!
Weather: Sunny, cloudy, and warm.
Crew Physical Status: All crew nominal.
Reports to be filed: Science, Photo, Sol, Journalist, GreenHab, Operations
Support Requested: None